filling the Radiator - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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filling the Radiator

I have a big block,454 with a long pump. I cant seem to get the air out. Anybody have some tried and true methods for filling a big block Chevy without having air bubbles.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 06:46 AM
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Re: filling the Radiator

Jack up the front of the car or squeeze the upper rad hose when your close to full.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 06:49 AM
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Re: filling the Radiator

Try parking the car on a slope so that the radiator fill is higher than everything else.

You may want to install a temporary overflow can with a vacuum siphon pressure cap (different than the one you have now, as it allows fluid back in when it is cool). That way you can fill the radiator to the top and all of the air will all escape while driving without loosing or spilling coolant into the environment. After a couple of heating cycles the coolant level can be lowered with a turkey baster to the correct cold fill level.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 08:23 AM
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Re: filling the Radiator

Try drilling a small hole in the thermostat flange. Kevin


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 09:03 AM
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Re: filling the Radiator

Drilling a 1/8" hole in the thermostat works, I have been doing this for years. Another way I have tried is removing the thermostat and filling the block from the top. Reinstall the thermostat and housing along with the top radiator hose. Fill the radiator and your done. Test run the vehicle and check all the fluids.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 09:35 AM
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Re: filling the Radiator

You can also get one of these. I have one and it works pretty good.

http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-24610-Spill-Free-Funnel/dp/B001A4EAV0

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 10:16 AM
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Re: filling the Radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdminter55 View Post
Another way I have tried is removing the thermostat and filling the block from the top. Reinstall the thermostat and housing along with the top radiator hose. Fill the radiator and your done. Test run the vehicle and check all the fluids.
That's what I've always done, never had an "air bubble". I modified a plastic funnel years ago by adding a bunch of holes so it sits up square in the thermostat opening by itself - I can see the coolant level rise so I stop pouring before I make a mess.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 10:48 AM
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Re: filling the Radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnZ View Post
That's what I've always done, never had an "air bubble". I modified a plastic funnel years ago by adding a bunch of holes so it sits up square in the thermostat opening by itself - I can see the coolant level rise so I stop pouring before I make a mess.

X2...fill from the thermostat opening in the block...you can jack up the front of the car, so the block fills completely by the time the coolant reaches the t-stat opening...

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 03:53 PM
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Re: filling the Radiator

The hole in the thermostat is good because allows a little flow before it starts to open.. which allows more accurate temp gauge readings...
It doest take much to start the thermostat to open, exceeding any hole....which means any air goes thru early ... which means the hole drilled does squat for air bleeding.
Also of note these old cooling systems are designed to have a couple inches of air in the radiator at hot and even more cold.

The hole and bleeding in real life is a fallacy.....

Simply by jacking the front of the car up....filling the radiator, the coolant goes into the engine thru the bottom pipe, filling the engine.....yes there will be a few bubbles trapped, in a couple cnrs, and on the rough walls.....
The moment the coolant starts to move.. thermostat even 1/2 open, the volume going thru the engine above abut 1500 rpms is huge... with excellent turbulence, washing any remaining air into the COUPLE INCHES AIR GAP in the top of the radiator...

issue can occur if a radiator is mounted too low , or have components like a IMPCO LPG convertor mounted above the top of the radiator....

If u keep getting air bubbles with a full radiator cap off... start to consider something like a blown head gasket.... check the cooling system for hydrocarbons/ COx

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 05:26 PM
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Re: filling the Radiator

I'm still a fan of using the cooling system to flush out air. Slightly elevate the front end. Remove the radiator cap. Fill to the cold line and leave the cap off. Start the car and reach operating temp. As the thermostat opens the water pump will force all air to the highest point - the radiator. Add antifreeze as needed to the hot line. Let the thermostat cycle open at least three times on a big block, twice always does it on a small block. Shutdown, lower car to level and check fluid level. Cap and done.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 06:05 PM
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Re: filling the Radiator

Get an UView Air Lift. It makes filling the coolant system really simple and you can check for leaks before a drop of antifreeze is poured in the system. It uses shop air to put the system under a vacuum. if the vacuum falls off then you check for leaks. If vacuum holds, then you hook the hose to a bottle of mixed coolant (we use a clean 5 gal bucket with 4 gallons of mix) and fills the entire system without a spilled drop.

They can be had for under 150 bucks (found ours at a swap meet for $60) and you will wonder why you have lived with out one.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 06:08 PM
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Re: filling the Radiator

like this one: http://www.amazon.com/UView-550000-Airlift-Cooling-Checker/dp/B0002SRH5G

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Oct 26th, 14, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: filling the Radiator

Thank you for all the great ideas. i will try a couple out.

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69 Camaro, Air Ride Suspension,
Procharged HO 454, 700R4, 12 bolt with Yukon axles, 3:73 gears posi, Pypes 2.5" X pipe with Borla XS mufflers. Retrotek Speed EFI, Ridetech suspension.
Rushforth rated X with Toyo tires. MSD 6 ignition.
Wilwood 6 piston Dynalite disc brakes with Hydratech booster.
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